With guys like House Speaker John Boehner at the helm it’s all about big government. Thankfully GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman stepped in. As Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal writes:
There’s an old saying that nothing turns Republicans into socialists more than a farm bill. But on Thursday one of the major forces behind defeating the nearly $1 trillion Republican farm/food stamp bill was second-term GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman of rural Indiana.
Mr. Stutzman not only represents a farm district but tells me he’s “a fourth generation farmer myself.” Yet he voted “no” on a bill that would have benefited his district after making a courageous stand at cutting costs. Mr. Stutzman tried to split the food stamps funding from the crop subsidies. “This is a food stamps welfare bill, not a farm bill,” he complains. But that idea was strongly resisted by the agriculture lobby because the bloated farm payments can’t pass without the votes of urban Democrats who support food stamps.
The vote was supposed to be next week, but House leaders thought they had rallied enough support for passage this week and the bill was rushed to the floor. Sources tell me that the surprise wasn’t the 62 conservative Republicans who voted “no.” Rather, it was the fact that Democrats delivered only 24 “yes” votes. When GOP leaders cited the lack of support among Democrats, a joyous Nancy Pelosi countered that the claim was “unprofessional” and called Republicans amateurs.
Democrats voted against the bill because they were infuriated by a $2 billion cut in the food stamp program, and the media called the vote a “black eye” for House Speaker John Boehner. Some even say it’s a sign of Mr. Boehner’s slipping power base. Already there is speculation that the embattled speaker may lack the clout to get the immigration bill through the unruly House.